Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper July 2, 2020

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INTERESTING NEWS Canada’s Oldest First Nations Newspaper - Serving Nuu-chah-nulth-aht since 1974 Canadian Publications Mail Product Vol. 47 - No. 13—July 2, 2020 haas^i>sa Sales Agreement No. 40047776

Tseshaht bids farewell to Chantel Moore BC reopens Family yearns for answers after woman fatally shot during police wellness check despite First Nations’ concerns By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter

Port Alberni, BC – A lone eagle frolicked with the seagulls over the Somass River, feasting on the jumping salmon as mourners gathered on the riverbank to say their final farewell to 26-year-old Chantel Moore. Many wore yellow t-shirts or masks in honour of Moore’s favorite saying, ‘Stay golden’. Martin Watts organized the event, which took place on the afternoon of June 20 at Papermill Dam park in Port Alberni. “This was her favorite place to be, she would bring her daughter down here to swim or just to hangout,” he told HaShilth-Sa. More than 100 people were spread out over the lawn, seated on their own chairs. A loudspeaker was set up so that people could hear the speakers. Canopies were also set up to protect mourners from the occasional summer rain showers. White, fluffy eagle down drifted on the breeze as Robert Watts performed a prayer chant. He welcomed the people on behalf of Tseshaht Ha’wiih before joining singers as they performed two of the Ha’wiih’s songs. Martin Watts told the crowd that he thought it was important to do something for Chantel in Tseshaht territory because she lived there for six years. He told a story of how Chantel came to Port Alberni in the early stages of her pregnancy when she met Sebastien Fred. The young Tseshaht man took baby Gracie as his own. “He’s Gracie’s daddy,” Watts told the people. Watts went on to say that Chantel spent two years in his house when she began a relationship with his son Deion. “It is important to help out because she was family,” said Watts. “She was a loving happy person,” She worked at Tseshaht Market and her favorite snack was cheese sticks, made in store by Herman Watts. Tseshaht Market sent cheese sticks to the service in her memory. Chantel eventually sent Gracie to live with her mother Martha in New Brunswick, but she missed them. “It was just before Christmas when she left for New Brunswick; it hurt to see her go,” said Watts. But he said that his son and Chantel remained best friends, talking to each other every day. “He’d probably have a lot to tell the police; he spoke to her just an hour before the incident,” said Watts.

By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor

Photo by Denise Titian

Bouquets of yellow roses and daisies were released ino the Somass River on June 20 as the service for Chantel Moore wound down, a symbolic means of loved ones letting her go. Moore was fatally shot by a police officer in New Brunswick on June 4. With his quavering, Joe Martin deMP Gord Johns attended the memorial, scribed the police officer who shot and stressed that he will be there to stand Chantel. in solidarity with the Martin family as “He is a big 300-pound black man that they seek truth and justice about what shot her five or more times,” he said. happened to Chantel. Moore was petite, less than half that “I have been friends with Chantel’s weight. mother Martha for 23 years,” he said. He thanked Johns for always being there “Gracie (Chantel Moore’s 6-year-old daughter) shouldn’t be here this way, say- for the family, always on the other end of the phone line. ing goodbye to her mother.” “I want justice for that young girl,” said Johns called it a senseless loss of life Martin. that should never have happened, vowBouquets of yellow roses and daisies ing to bring their message to the decision were released at the rapids as the service makers in Ottawa. wound down. Watts said this was their “We will demand action,” he said. way of symbolically letting her go. Joe Martin thanked Tseshaht for what Those closest to Chantel, including her they did for his granddaughter Chantel. mother and daughter, entered the water to “My family went [to New Brunswick], be refreshed as the flowers drifted past. what we saw and what we heard – it was A family member stood in the water with horrific,” he said. “I never want what happened to her to happen to any of you.” them, shaking a rattle to his prayer chant as the group plunged into the water, sobMartin said he believed that they were bing with grief. being followed by the police when they The group emerged from the water lookwere in New Brunswick, “and it turns out ing stronger. they were following us,” he said.

Inside this issue... Nations to get millions in forgiven treaty loans.........Page 3 Bamfield bus tragedy report.......................................Page 5 Changing the tide of salmon economics.....................Page 7 Finding health for west coast salmon................Pages 8 & 9 Haahuupayak graduates............................................Page 15

Victoria, BC - In a move to salvage its economy from the COVID-19 lockdown, the province is encouraging travel within the province this summer – a message that goes against the urging of multiple Indigenous leaders. On June 24 Premier John Horgan announced that B.C. has begun the next phase of its plan to reopen the economy. Moving into Phase 3 entails guidelines for hotels, resorts and movie theatres to reopen for business while following social distancing protocol to control the spread of coronavirus infection. “As we carefully turn up the dial on our activity, we can now look to travel safely around the province,” announced Horgan. “But as we hit the open roads this summer, we must remember we are not leaving COVID-19 behind, and we need to continue to do our part to bend the curve and protect the progress we’ve made.” The most recent numbers announced on June 29 shows 26 new cases in B.C. discovered over the previous three days, for a total of 2,904 infections since January. After a peak of almost 800 active cases in late April, this has declined to the low of 153 tracked on June 29, including 18 who are in hospital. First Nations people comprise 86 – or less than three per cent - of B.C.’s total infections tracked since January, according to data recently released by the First Nations Health Authority. Nineteen for those with the virus have been hospitalized, although none of these Indigenous patients remain in a medical facility. Three have died with COVID-19. With higher numbers in neighbouring Alberta and nearly ten times the count of infections south of the border in Washington State, British Columbia has emerged as a North American leader in its response this year to the coronavirus pandemic. But a growing number of Indigenous leaders are expressing concern that not enough is currently being done to protect their people this summer as outsiders venture to summer destinations. The Tseshaht First Nation sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the government not to reopen the Pacific Rim National Park to visitors. Continues on page 3.

If undeliverable, please return to: Ha-Shilth-Sa P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2

Page 2— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2020

‘We are going to make noise’: Hundreds gather for Moore Mother of 26 year old retells a bizarre series of events, beginning with police asking for her daughter’s address By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Victoria, BC — Two weeks after Martha Martin lost her daughter to a police officer’s gun in New Brunswick, she stood before hundreds on the other side of Canada at the B.C. legislature, calling for answers. “We are going to make noise,” said Martin, overcome with emotion. “It’s not fair that I will never get another ‘Good morning, do you want to go for a coffee?’ All because in a split second a policeman wanted to pull his trigger. How do you connect the pieces from here?” Many across Canada are struggling to understand what happened to Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old member of the Tlao-qui-aht First Nation who was fatally shot when a member of the Edmunston Police Force visited her home to check on her well being. During the event in Victoria on Thursday, Martin recounted the bizarre and harrowing hours that began June 4 in the small Maritime city. “At about 2:30 a.m. I was woken up to a banging on my door,” she said, adding that a police officer was there, voicing concern for Moore. “He told me they were concerned about her well-being, and that they needed her address. So I gave that policeman my daughter’s address, only to have them come back and knock on my door at 4:19 a.m. to give me the horrific news of what would forever change our lives.” The Edmunston Police Force stated that Moore attacked the officer with a knife, causing him to shoot her in self defence. But Moore was shot five times, and with

Photo by Eric Plummer

Deion Watts holds a picture Chantel Moore on June 18 at the B.C. legislature. unanswered questions surrounding a trag- system is broken. We cannot allow this to edy that was intended to be a wellness happen.” check, the case is now in the hands of Eddie Frank is among the dozen famthe Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, ily members who ventured from British an independent agency that investigates Columbia to join Martha Martin in New fatal police shootings in New Brunswick. Brunswick after her daughter’s death. The province has also announced that a “Once we heard the story of what hapcoroner’s inquest will also be held into pened, fear became our greatest enemy Moore’s death. - fear became our partner because we “What the hell happened here?” asked didn’t know what to expect,” he said. Don Tom, vice-president of BC Union of The event began with five minutes of Indian Chiefs, to the crowd. “The justice silence to mark the number of times

Moore was shot during the wellness check. Several speakers expressed sadness and anger over continued cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. “I was really angry today, and I still am angry,” said Tom. “If you’re like me, I don’t feel like I fit in this country. Sometimes it feels like there’s no room for us.” While speaking to media outlets before the public event began, Joanne Manley walked up to Martha Martin to give her yellow flowers, matching the shirts the family wore in recognition of Chantel’s favourite expression, ‘Stay golden’. “This is awful…I don’t blame her for going to the door in the middle of the night and being afraid,” said Manley of the tragedy. “I can’t imagine what I would feel if my son was shot like that.” The Victoria resident’s relationship with Nuu-chah-nulth dates back to the 1990s, when she was arrested for standing against old growth logging in Tla-o-qhiaht and Ahousaht territory. “When I sing O Canada, I sing ‘Our home and stolen land’,” said Manley. “We have to change people’s attitudes.” The gathering ended with performances on the legislature steps by several Vancouver Island First Nations, including an assembly of Nuu-chah-nulth-aht. Their singing began with words from Martin Watts. “We’re gonna move forward for the sake of that young lady who was taken away from us,” called out the Tseshaht member, who then pointed to Gracie, Chantel Moore’s young daughter. “We’re gonna move forward for the sake of her hopefully having a nice life.”

July 2, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 3

Nations receive millions in forgiven treaty loans After a decade of repayments for Maa-nulth negotiating, Huu-ay-aht will receive nearly $5 million from O•awa By Karly Blats Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor The news came when the federal government announced its Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class to Grow Canada’s Economy. Canada committed to eliminating the outstanding comprehensive claim negotiation loan debts for all First Nations in Canada, totalling $1.4 billion, and to repay Indigenous governments that have already repaid these loans. The federal government has also adopted a grant-based system, which does not require repayment, to fund negotiations with the government. The Huu-ay-aht, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’, Toquaht, Uchucklesaht and Ucluelet First Nations all implement the Maa-nulth Final Agreement that was signed by chiefs representing the five nations, as well as federal and provincial ministers, on April 1, 2011. The agreement details a 10-year loan repayment plan, running from April 1, 2011 to 2020. The document lists annual repayments of $546,224 for Huuay-aht, $446,371 for Ka:’yu:k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h’, $510,175 for Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, $216,726 for Uchucklesaht and $173,534 for the Toquaht Nation. The BC treaty negotiations process is voluntary and open to all First Nations in British Columbia, according to the BC Treaty Commission. There are 65 selfdetermining First Nations, representing over half of all Indian Act bands in B.C., that are participating in, or have completed treaties through the treaty negotiations process. Active or completed negotiations involve 40 First Nations, representing 76 Indian Act bands, totalling 38 per cent of all Indian Act bands in BC. “All the nations that are in the negotiation process, whether they’re actively negotiating or not, will receive loan forgiveness,” said Celeste Haldane, BC Treaty Commission chief commissioner. Haldane said the loan forgiveness and reimbursements will allow First Nations to invest back into their communities through economic development initia-

Celeste Haldane tives, infrastructure or governance. “I think about language revitalization, that is a really important aspect and something that we need to be really focused on given the fact that we are losing Indigenous languages at a high rate. I see that as being a positive investment and way to invest in securing our future,” Haldane said. “What I think is quite interesting about all this, is it puts the nation back in the driver seat when they actually want to look at how they want to prioritize community initiatives and that comes down to the ability to be able to self-govern and to be self-determining which I think is extremely important.” The Huu-ay-aht First Nations will receive nearly $5 million from the federal government in returned loan payments over the next five years and close to half a million in debt will be forgiven. “It is with sincere appreciation that Huuay-aht First Nations applaud Canada for correcting a long-time policy of making First Nations pay for their new relationship with British Columbia and Canada,” said former B.C. Treaty Commissioner and Huu-ay-aht Ḥaw̓iiḥ Tom Happynook

in a news release. “This new federal approach to treaty negotiations in B.C. is a welcome policy change and can in its simplicity create a much better environment to negotiate a Modern-Day Comprehensive Treaty,” Huu-ay-aht’s Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. said in a news release he finds it reassuring that even with the difficulties COVID-19 has created, the Government of Canada is still committed to economic reconciliation efforts with First Nations communities. The Huu-ay-aht is committed to investing in priorities like governance, infrastructure and economic development to ensure the Nation benefits from the funds they will receive over the next five years. The Uchucklesaht Tribe will be reimbursed about $2.2 million from the government, said Uchucklesaht Tribe Government CAO and director of finance Scott Coulson. “Nothing is forgiven because we had paid back our entire loan…it was just a payback,” Coulson said. “The funds are being paid back over seven or eight years so they’re going toward our general budget and nothing is being identified for them. It’s just a general revenue.” Coulson said the loan repayments are a positive step took by the government to reconcile with First Nations. “We didn’t think it was fair for [the government] to not have treaty loans for nations…so I think Trudeau’s government stepped up and did the right thing,” he said. Charles McCarthy, president of the Ucluelet First Nation, said he couldn’t recall the exact amount the nation would be reimbursed for treaty loans but that the money will go back into a trust fund. He said it means a lot to the nation that the government has agreed to repay and forgive the loan payments. “I was against funding it out of our pockets, it was a huge cost. Ours might not have been as much cost as other nations but there was a lot of money and research and a lot of our people were attending those meetings,” McCarthy said.

“It was really hard to accept that we were actually having to pay all of that money back if Canada wanted certainty.” The Toquaht First Nation didn’t disclose how much they would be receiving from the federal government in loan repayments or debt forgiveness but Tayii Ḥaʔw̓ił Anne Mack said the nation has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years to negotiate a treaty with Canada and B.C. “Like other nations, we were made to borrow money from Canada to carry out this work, money that we have been paying back since the Maa-nulth Treaty’s effective date of April 1, 2011,” Mack said. “Servicing this debt has been a burden on our small operating budget. We are very pleased with Canada’s decision to forgive any outstanding dept while refunding treaty nations that have already repaid their negotiation loan.” The Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ did not respond to an interview request. Haldane said the government’s decision to repay and forgive treaty loans is a testament to the commitment of reconciliation by the federal and provincial governments. “There never should have been loans in the beginning, that’s always been an absurd structure,” Haldane said, “From the outset, First Nation leaders, communities and treaty negotiation tables have always said that it was unfair and I think we’re now in a place where they’re kind of righting the wrongs when it comes to loans.” Loan forgiveness also applies to several other Nuu-chah-nulth nations that have invested in treaty negotiations, including Ditidaht, Pacheedaht, Hupacasath and Tla-o-qui-aht. The Ditidaht and Pacheedaht Agreement in Principle was signed on June 28, 2019 and the parties are in Stage 5 of negotiations to conclude treaty. The Hupacasath and Tla-o-Quu-aht are currently in Stage 4 of the negotiating process, which entails working on an Agreement in Principle.

New case on island indicates risk over summer season Continued from page 1. This area includes the Broken Group Islands, part of the Tseshaht’s traditional territory and site of tribal origin. The letter states that the Broken Group normally sees 13,000 or more tourists annually. “We are advised that Parks Canada intends to reopen the Broken Group Islands to visitors, campers and tourists within the next couple of weeks,” wrote Chief Councillor Cynthia Dick, stressing that her nation strongly opposes allowing tourists into the Broken Group. “We believe that the reopening of the Broken Group Islands part of the Pacific Rim Park Reserve will expose our children, members and staff to possible infection from COVID-19. There is no urgent reason to reopen the BGI to tourists. Our people have remained COVID-19-free and now our efforts will be for naught.” After more than a month without a new case, an infection was confirmed on Vancouver Island June 22. This shows that the region isn’t ready to be opening up at the province’s current pace, said NTC President Judith Sayers, who remains concerned about the risk of infection entering Nuu-chah-nulth territory. “If we had achieved no more cases for a few weeks, we could be moving into

phase 3. But we aren’t,” she said. “[Nuuchah-nulth] nations will be making their own decisions on how to protect their members and opening areas as they see fit.” This necessary protection includes four areas of concern that Sayers said the province has yet to address. Adequate information sharing on new cases, screening of non-resident for infection, the availability of rapid testing for Indigenous communities and local contact tracing teams to keep First Nations safe are still needed. These requirements from the NTC were further supported by the Heiltsuk and Tsilhqot’in in a joint statement made on June 24. “The premier cannot forget our free, prior and informed consent over our territories, and that we have not given our consent to open up the province,” said Sayers in the joint statement. “We will do what we need to in order to protect our people, and if there is an impasse, we need to talk. For us, it is people before economics.” For the time being, Ottawa has closed the USA border to non-essential travel until July 21, and Canadians returning from outside the country are legally required to quarantine for 14 days. But travel into B.C. from other parts of

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Vehicles line up for the Tsawwassen ferry at Duke Point in Nanaimo on June 12. BC Ferries has reopened all routes linking Vancouver Island to the mainland. to have our economic engines going.” Canada remains open. As it stands now, all of BC Ferries’ During a press conference she held with routes to and from Vancouver Island have Horgan on June 24, Provincial Health reopened, and the province has seen over Officer Dr. Bonny Henry said travel into 100,000 reservations for campsites. Three B.C. from other provinces will continue. months after a provincial state of emer“I don’t see us ever putting in restricgency was declared, the province states tions,” she said, noting that “travel manners” will still be expected from non-B.C. that B.C.’s rate of COVID-19 infection has flattened. residents, such as maintaining a six“If you’re coming to British Columbia, foot distance from others, regular hand be mindful of what British Columbians washing and ensuring a community can have done together,” said Horgan. welcome them before they arrive. “We need to have social interaction. We need

Page 4— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2020 Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper is published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for distribution to the members of the NTC-member First Nations, as well as other interested groups and individuals. Information and original work contained in this newspaper is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council P.O. Box 1383, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M2. Telephone: (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 Web page: www.hashilthsa.com facebook: Hashilthsa Ntc

2020 Subscription rates: $35 per year in Canada and $40 per year in the U.S.A. and $45 per year in foreign countries. Payable to the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. Manager/Editor/Reporter Eric Plummer (Ext. 243) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 eric.plummer@nuuchahnulth.org Reporter Denise Titian (Ext. 240) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 denise.titian@nuuchahnulth.org Reporter Melissa Renwick (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 melissa.renwick@nuuchahnulth.org Audio / Video Technician Mike Watts (Ext. 238) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 mike.watts@nuuchahnulth.org Editorial Assistant Holly Stocking (Ext. 302) (250) 724-5757 Fax: (250) 723-0463 holly.stocking@nuuchahnulth.org

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Sports advocate named to B.C. board Despite cancelled events, elder encourages NCN to remain active during pandemic By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Port Alberni, BC – Long-time sports advocate Wally Samuel Sr. has been appointed to the board of directors of a provincial group. Earlier this month the 73-year-old member of Ahousaht First Nation was one of nine individuals chosen for the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) board. I-SPARC was officially formed back in 2009 to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people throughout British Columbia. This followed the signing of an agreement between the First Nations Health Council, Metis Nation BC and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC). Since I-SPARC’s inception, the BCAAFC has served as its host agency. But now that its inaugural board is in place, I-SPARC will work towards having its own governance plan. “It’s getting so big and it’s a little hard for the (BCAAFC) staff to do all the work,” Samuel said. He should know. He’s been involved with countless I-SPARC initiatives, serving as a volunteer for his community and surrounding areas, since the organization was launched. Samuel said he is thrilled he was one of those chosen to be part of I-SPARC’s board. “I’m glad I was put on it,” he said. “But I can’t do this forever. We need some younger people to get involved.” Corninne McKay of Nisga’a Nation will serve as the board’s president. Also, Alan Edkins, representing Metis Nation BC, will serve as vice-president while Cheryl Charlie from Sts’ailes Nation, will have the dual roles of secretary and treasurer. Joining Samuel as directors on the board will be Don Courson and Curtis Smecher, both representing Métis Nation BC. And the other directors are Annette Morgan (Gitxsan), Milly Price (Wei Wai Kai First Nation) and Travis Kruger (Penticton Indian Band). Those named to the board will serve all serve nine-month terms. The plan is to elect a new board in 2021. “There will be an election next year depending on how things are (with the

pandemic),” Samuel said. So far this year Samuel has seen a handful of prestigious sporting events that he normally attends and/or has a role in cancelled because of the pandemic. For starters, the kibosh was put on the Junior All Native Tournament, a youth basketball event which had been scheduled for Kelowna in mid-March. Also, the 2020 Canadian Native Fastball Championships, which were set for early August in Prince George, will not be taking place. And in the spring the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s board of directors decided to cancel their annual Tlu-piich Games. The multi-sport event, traditionally held in Port Alberni in August, features athletes from Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. “It’s for safety precautions, I understand that,” Samuel said about the Tlupiich Games’ cancellation. “Plus, not too many people have been able to go out and do training or fundraising (for the Games).” Though various events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, Samuel believes individuals can still maintain their fitness these days despite varying lockdowns and restrictions. “I hope they are still out there jogging or walking or shooting a ball,” he said. “You can still do things but not with a whole team. You can still do things with a friend or a family member.” Over the years I-SPARC representatives have worked with First Nations, Métis communities, friendship centres, schools and other sport and physical activity shareholders to deliver programs which promote active lifestyles and healthy well-being in Indigenous communities. Samuel would love to see this aim continue. “Hopefully the First Nations will get together and they’ll make youth activities a priority,” he said. “I understand it can be hard organizing things. But there is training available for recreation workers. And it does have a great effect on communities when they get the right people in there.” Samuel added communities should do their best to ensure they are hiring quality staff members to head up sports pro-

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Wally Samuel Sr. grams. “To be a sports worker, you have to be a committed sports person and not just look at it as a job,” he said. Samuel added it can be difficult for communities to hire the right people for sports programming positions. “It’s up to each community to do that,” he said. “And there are a lot of resources for that.” Even before the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged people to stay indoors, Samuel believes it’s become increasingly difficult to remain involved in a number of sporting activities. “I’ve noticed young kids and even young parents are still not as active as they were in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s,” he said. Samuel believes one of the reasons for this is because of the hours people are working. “Nowadays work schedules are much different,” he said, adding in past decades the majority of those with jobs primarily worked weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., allowing for time to take part in various sporting activities weekday evenings and on weekends. “Now they have to work weekends and different shifts.”

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July 2, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 5

Report on Bamfield bus tragedy points to night travel A consultant’s report releases 43 recommendations, but states some would not be needed if road is improved By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Victoria, BC - An independent review of a bus crash that killed two University of Victoria students during a field trip to Bamfield concludes that future trips cannot be made at night if the logging road remains in its current state. This was one of 43 recommendations released June 25 by Ross Cloutier, an expert in outdoor risk management hired by the university in the aftermath of the Sept. 13 tragedy that took the lives of John Geerdes and Emma Machado. Both first-year biology students were 18, part of a 45-student field trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre last year. With an oncoming vehicle approaching, the accident occurred when a chartered bus slid from a narrow section of the 85-kilometre road at 7:55 p.m. Other passengers endured injuries when the vehicle flipped over after falling down an embankment. After months of interviews with victims, their families, school staff and witnesses, Cloutier determined future trips to the marine sciences centre can be made safely – but only if the road is driven properly according to conditions in daylight hours. Other recommendations include the need for pre-determined travel itineraries and a satellite phone on school travel vehicles. The accident occurred halfway down the road from Port Alberni, where no cellular coverage is available. Using a pilot car travelling in front of a larger vehicle is also being explored, as is bringing in VHF radio for communication with oncoming traffic on the road. The consultant’s report notes that the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre hosted 112 school field trips over the 2018-19 fiscal year, but only eight of these groups arrived later in the evening. Two of these after-dark arrivals were from UVic.

Photo by Heather Thomson

Huu-ay-aht Councillor Edward R. Johnson (far right) and Hereditary Chief Jeff Cook perform a prayer at the crash site. For years the Huu-ay-aht have been lob- mend immediate upgrades to the route. “We fully accept the review’s recom“The report refers to the road as dangermendations and are already working dili- bying for improvements to the road, most ous and makes recommendations on steps gently to implement them to help prevent recently exploring the process of chip sealing with a solidifying combination of they can take to travel it more safely, but an accident like this from ever happenasphalt and fine aggregate. In November what we really need are significant iming again, to improve planning for field Premier John Horgan took the 78-kilome- provements to the road itself,” said Chief trips off campus and to allow us to more tre journey to Anacla to discuss improvCouncillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. “No one effectively respond to critical incidents,” ing the road, when he directed the forma- else should lose their life on this road. It stated UVic President Jamie Cassels. tion of an action group for upgrades. is time to chip seal it and make it safe for “Cloutier notes that with appropriHuu-ay-aht noted that the consultant’s everyone who travels it.” ate road improvements a number of the report should have gone further to recomabove additional measures may not be necessary,” stated UVic in a press release announcing the consultant’s report. Travelling Bamfield Main is a regular part of life for members of the Huu-ayaht First Nations who live in the village of Anacla, which is located near Bamfield, as well as Ditidaht members who use part of the road to reach their home other lots of the medication as a precauBy Denise Titian community on Nitinaht Lake. Since the tionary measure because they contain Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter road opened in the 1970s the Huu-ay-aht NDMA close to the acceptable limit. have lost eight members on the dangerNTC Nurse Navigator Lesley Cerney Canada – An article about the possible ous passage, and as recently as in early warned that NDMA, when taken in high June Stan Coleman, a forester who works link between the prescription drug metlevels for a long time, has been associwith the First Nation, narrowly survived a formin and cancer is raising concerns for ated with cancer. diabetes sufferers. head-on collision with a logging truck. “What the article didn’t tell you is that Metformin is a drug widely used in the issue only affected a small number Canada to treat Type 2 diabetes. With Indigenous people at high-risk for develop- of the many brands of Metformin,” she added. ing diabetes, many are taking Metformin According to Cerney, Canada is among to control blood sugar levels. world leaders when it comes to drug In December 2019 Health Canada safety rules. All lots of Metformin with announced that it is aware that some unsafe levels of the ingredient have been Metformin products available outside recalled. When any drug is recalled, pharthe country have been found to contain NDMA (nitrosodimethylamine) above the macists are notified and call all the people acceptable limit. NDMA is classified as a who received it. Rachel Dickens, a diabetes educator and probable human carcinogen. dietician with the NTC, says that she is “We are all exposed to low levels of making inquiries about the local supply nitrosamines through a variety of foods 1-844-620-9924 Gord.Johns@parl.gc.ca of Metformin. (such as smoked and cured meats, dairy NDP MP ffor or Court Court ourtenay enay-Alb enay -Alberni -Alb erni www.gordjohns.ca “I called both pharmacies in Tofino to products and vegetables), drinking make sure the generic version they diswater and air pollution,” says the Health pense is not the one with the compound Canada report. Back in December Health Canada stated linked to cancer,” she said. It turns out that the supplies there are it is not aware of any Metformin prodsafe. ucts in Canada containing NDMA above Tofino’s Pharmasave assured Dickens acceptable levels. The federal department that if they had dispensed any of the reasked companies to test their Metformin products and have collected samples from called lots of Metformin they would have called every patient that received it. companies to conduct its own testing. Dickens said she is aware of one client Health Canada is also working closely in Ahousaht that stopped taking his prewith international regulatory partners to scribed Metformin due to concerns about inform its assessment of the issue and to NDMA contamination, but has since been determine whether any Metformin prodreassured that his medication is safe. uct in Canada is affected. Both Diabetes Canada and Cerney Then in February Diabetes Canada isadvise clients that it is safe to continue sued an update. taking Metformin. “As a result of its recent product analy“If you have any questions about it, call sis, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. is recalling six lots of its prescription your pharmacist,” said Cerney. “There is a lot of misleading health RAN-Metformin drug from the Canadian information on the internet and social market due to findings of NDMA. After media,” said Cerney. She urges people product testing, two lots had NDMA to contact her if they have any concerns levels above what is considered acceptabout something they’ve read. able if the drug were to be taken over a Lesley Cerney, NTC nurse navigator, lifetime,” states the report. can be reached at 250-731-5392. In addition, Ranbaxy is recalling four

Congratulations to all the 2020 Graduates Gord Go rd J Joh ohns ns

The Port Alberni Port Authority congratulates all those who persevered to graduate in 2020, including one of its team members, Celine Sauve.

Diabetic medication brings cancer concerns

Page 6— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2020

BC’s funding will help build new trails in Bamfield Hupacasath maple syrup, seaweed farming and Tseshaht land development study also get provincial grants By Sam Laskaris Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Bamfield, BC – Stefan Ochman received some unexpected but welcome news recently. Last summer Ochman, president of the Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest Society (BHCFS), had written a grant proposal to the provincial government seeking funding through its Rural Dividend Program. “Most of that money ended up going to help displaced forest fire workers,” Ochman said. Ochman was disappointed to hear in 2019 that the BHCFS would not receive any of the grant money it had requested. “They just said next year would be another time (to apply for funding),” Ochman said. The society had requested $32,450 to support the planning, initial layout of trails and the construction of a trail loop within the Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest. The 360-hectare forest is within the territory of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, and adjacent to the communities of Bamfield and Anacla. Though the BHCFS did not submit another grant proposal this year, Ochman received an email recently from provincial officials informing him his society would indeed by receiving all of the funds it had requested last year. “The letter just said that because of COVID, they wanted to reboot the economy and that we could go ahead with this work,” Ochman said. Earlier in June the provincial government sent out a news release announcing that the BHCFS would be one of more

Photo by Stefan Ochman

Thanks to some provincial funding, new trails will be built within the Bamfield Huu-ay-aht Community Forest. than 150 projects that would collectively will be used to analyze the capacity of receive almost $14 million in grants. The communities on Vancouver Island’s west grants include about $5 million for 39 coast to deliver large-scale ocean farmtrail and recreation projects. And about ing of seaweed. Besides the gathering of $9 million is going to 114 projects that information, the analysis of it will help assist rural community development. determine available workforce, skill sets, infrastructure, warehousing, cold storage, Projects chosen for the grants were approved processing facilities as well as picked from three categories. They were First Nations, municipalities and not-fortransportation systems. profit organizations. Meanwhile, the Tseshaht First Nation received $100,000. These funds will go Besides the BHCFS, other Nuu-chahtowards building upon a market assessnulth groups to receive grant funding include the Hupacasath’s Kleekhoot Gold ment and the 2018 Highest Best Use Bigleaf Maple Syrup Farm, Nuu-chahStudy on its First Nation-owned commercial and industrial lands. nulth Seafood Limited Partnership and In its grant proposal last year, the BHthe Tseshaht First Nation’s Commercial CFS requested funds to flag the location and Industrial Land Development. of six walking trails in its forest in order Hupacasath’s maple syrup business to meet the recreation needs of residents received $99,939 to expand, by increasand visitors. The proposal included a ing tree inventory by more than 50 per request for funding to construct a twocent and by finding a second site for sap kilometre long trail loop, which would production. enhance the recreational tourism industry The Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership was granted $170,784. Funds in the area.

Since they received recent notification that they would receive funding, BHCFS officials put out a request a couple of weeks ago to hire two flag technicians. As of late June, 10 applications had already been sent in. Applications are accepted until June 30. Once the two technicians have been hired, Ochman said they flag a 15-kilometre area. “We can’t do all 15 kilometres right away,” Ochman said. “But we’ll go in and prioritize what we want to do first.” Ochman anticipates the flagging of the forest will begin in early July. “It depends on how fast they work,” Ochman said of the soon-to-be-hired technicians. “But it would be 15 days if they do a kilometre a day.” The building of the trail would commence shortly after that. “We have a few qualified people to do the work,” Ochman said. Depending on which area of the forest is selected to be worked on first, the trail building could involve moving some trees or adding boardwalks. “We’re trying to do it and make it look as natural as possible,” Ochman said. “We’re trying to make it look like the forest hasn’t been touched much.” As part of their grant approval, BHCFS reps are required to submit progress reports to provincial officials. An interim report will be required when the project is 50 per cent completed. A final project report must also be submitted. This final report needs to include confirmation all funding was spent on the project as well as the number of jobs it created and the economic benefits provided to the community.

Ditidaht painter unveils mural in Downtown Eastside By Andrea D. Smith Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Vancouver, BC - A young Ditidaht member is quickly gaining ground in her career as an artist. On June 19, at the downtown location of the Aboriginal Front Door Society, a beautiful wall mural was unveiled, by 20-year-old artist Martina Giesbrecht. A ceremony was held around the unveiling Friday, and a few notable chiefs and politicians attended the event. “It was really emotional,” said Geisbrecht’s grandmother, Mary Durocher, who was present for the unveiling. Durocher is a peer worker at the Aboriginal Front Door Society (AFDS), though normally works as a cultural advisor and elder. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and cutbacks, her duties and hours have shifted temporarily. “She just graduated a few years ago, and art is what she loves doing. I’m really proud of her, and what she can do, and how she goes about it. She listens to what people ask for,” said Durocher of her granddaughter’s talent. The unveiling event was hosted at the AFDS main office in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. There was drumming, singing and opening prayers, along with Geisbrecht’s father singing a few songs, too. Then Ditidaht Hereditary Chief Arnold Shaw spoke, followed by a moving speech by Melanie Mark, B.C.’s minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. Geisbrecht then unveiled her mural— which was actually covered by a real veil to add to the excitement, said Dionne.

“It was covered with a black veil first, but that was inserted with subtext, so one of our elders replaced it with a seethrough table cloth and some tape,” said Dionne, of the scene right before the unveiling. “It looked really vibrant afterwards. Really colorful. You could see it through the table cloth, but when it was unveiled it was way brighter.” According to Geisbrecht, her piece signifies the struggle for a lot of people in the Downtown Eastside. She’s seen it herself, and heard what it’s like from her grandmother. The addictions, homelessness, and poverty, as well as the loss of cultural and family connections, are something she has a lot of compassion for, and wanted to illustrate as best she could in her painting. Of course, staff at the AFDS gave her tips along the way, about what they’d like to see, too, she said. The key piece of her mural is that there is hope for healing drawn into it—because that’s what the staff at the AFDS aim to do, Geisbrecht added. Through culture as well as other kinds of support, including offering snacks and water to people on the street, staff at AFDS work every day to try to bring people closer to recovery from the struggles they’re involved in. The mural is called “A Journey to a Better Life” in honour of the work being carried out at AFDS. It’s a rectangle image, covering one wall of the inside of AFDS. There are many circles inside the image, each of which contains something inside of it that represents either the struggle or the healing from it. Around the outside of the mural, four circles contain images of addiction—

Submitted photo

On June 19, at the downtown location of the Aboriginal Front Door Society, a wall mural was unveiled by 20-year-old artist Martina Giesbrecht. Finally, there is a very large circle in the pills, cocaine, a needle, and an alcohol centre of the image with two people in it, bottle. Four circles near to those have surrounded by a weaved circle with the pictures of a person inside of them, repcolors of the medicine wheel. They’re resenting the entrapment that is homeholding a Smudge bowl, which represents lessness. Very often it’s hard to get out the healing they’ve found through culture of once a person is stuck inside of that, and ceremony. Geisbrecht said, and she knows there is There is a sunrise, and a canoe with an also a lot of judgement from people not otter as well—a detail she added to pay stuck in that situation, which doesn’t respect to all the Coast Salish people help, she added. whose territory AFDS is on. There are also four circles closer to the “A couple of Chiefs spoke and concenter, with a hand and single coin in gratulated me, and actually told me my each one, representing poverty; the logo for the AFDS; the logo for the Downtown mural was going to be part of history now… which totally made me feel happy Eastside; and a Turtle Island symbol, to inside,” said Geisbrecht. represent all Indigenous people across Turtle Island.

July 2, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 7

Despite regulations, opportunity exists: Fisherman Nuu-chah-nulth and the region’s troll fleet have proposed ideas to change the tide in the economics of salmon By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Vancouver Island, BC - Despite continued efforts to push commercial boats out of the industry, many fishermen haven’t sold their licences back to the government, leaving millions in unused funds that were originally intended to help those most affected by the decline of West Coast chinook. An estimated $12 to 15 million sits in the Pacific Salmon Treaty Mitigation Fund, the remains of $30 million the United States first set aside in 2008 to help those hardest hit by reductions to the chinook harvest. At that time the salmon treaty determined a large cut in chinook fishing was necessary, bringing a 30 per cent reduction for the west coast of Vancouver Island and a 15 cut on southeast Alaska. The Pacific Salmon Treaty was first signed in 1985 to conserve and manage fishing on the West Coast of North America. Nearly all of this money was designated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the voluntary retirement of commercial licences. But after more than a decade, as much as half of the funds remain unspent. Vic Amos is among the handful of Nuu-chah-nulth fishermen with an Area G licence to harvest off the west coast of Vancouver Island. He believes that the use of the salmon mitigation fund has failed to serve the intended purpose: to help coastal communities who rely on the economics of salmon. “Instead of compensating the fishermen from Area G, it was used to buy back licences from all over the B.C. coast,” said Amos. “That’s where the problem came in: the government never came close to spending it on what was originally agreed upon, which was to mitigate the losses of the people who took the reduction of chinook on the west coast of Vancouver Island.” DFO reports that as many as 164 troll licences in British Columbia have been retired as part of the buy-back program, covering Area G as well as the Strait of Georgia and Haida Gwaii. But Amos has seen a “devastating” effect on coastal communities from commercial boats leaving the industry. This includes the surrounding infrastructure, like locallybased processing plants, and the many coastal residents who rely on such operations for employment. “Whether you’re native or non-native, we don’t want to give up the small fishing boat fishery on the west coast of Vancouver Island,” said Amos. “Nobody want’s to sell out. We have people who

Photo by Melissa Renwick

A commercial fishing boat drives through the Ucluelet inlet, on Thursday, June 11, 2020. that type of money.” are getting old and grey trying to hang on living out there.” This led Nuu-chah-nulth and Area G “The problem with buybacks is that to this fishery, because it’s a family and a representatives to include in their proonce government buys it back, that lifestyle fishery. That’s why they haven’t posal support for young fishers. been able to utilize the money, and [DFO] licence is gone forever,” said Amos. “It’s not that there’s no interest, but “Whereas if we do a buyback and it goes want to buy it back real cheap.” into a licence bank, at least it stays here.” they don’t see a future for themselves Uu-a-thluk Program Manager Eric Anin it, so we need to come up with some Amos first acquired his commercial ligel doesn’t believe that many commercial mechanisms to support young fishers to cense at the age of 19, a time in the early fishers would part with their licence for get in,” commented Angel. “It could be 1970s when this allowed him to venture what they see as a lowball offer from mentoring programs, it could be loans, it far beyond the west coast of Vancouver Fisheries and Oceans Canada. could be systems with diversifying into Island. “They’re only buying the licences, not “It wasn’t called Area G then, there was different fisheries, it could be a bunch of the boats and the gear,” he said. “An area different things.” G licence, that’s what he’s earned his liv- no areas back when I started,” he said, Last year the Area G fleet was allocated recalling fishing as far north as the Gulf ing doing. He sells his licence, he’s still less than 15,000 chinook, and since 2015 of Alaska. “When I started you could go stuck with a boat. What’s he’s supposed fishing up in the Charlottes, you could go the fleet’s catch limit has been lower than to do with it?” up into the gulf, you could go gillnetting, the sports fishery. But despite the limitaWith millions still sitting in the Pacific tions, Amos sees economic opportunity you could do halibut fishing. You could Salmon Treaty Mitigation Fund, reprefor commercial fishing west of Vancouver do anything, that’s what your licence sentatives from Nuu-chah-nulth nations Island. was.” and the Area G fleet have submitted a “There is opportunity, but somebody But restrictions tightened over the years proposal to DFO that they hope will else has to reduce their catch effort,” he for commercial boats. Besides limitachange the direction of the direction of said. tions on where they could fish, seasons the industry. This includes an indepen“It can be quite profitable, even with were cut. Now an Area G licence costs dent analysis to determine the economic reduced stocks and reduced catches,” approximately $110,000, plus another impacts of the 2008 catch reductions on $70,000 or so for a boat and the necesadded Angel. “I see demand for wild troll fleets and the communities that rely caught fish on the west coast of the island sary equipment. on them, as well as financial compensaThe combination of stringent regulations where Nuu-chah-nulth are involved, I see tion for the fishers most impacted by the demand for that being really strong.” and large costs presents an insurmounttreaty decision. A decision on the Nuu-chah-nulth-Area able investment for many young fishers “We also want to look really strongly G proposal is expected to come from considering entering the troll fleet. at the potential to create a licence bank, DFO in the fall. “It’s really hard for young people to get because access to fish on the west coast is absolutely huge,” added Angel. “It’s cen- into this industry today,” said Amos. “The economics really aren’t there to invest tral to fishers being able to make a viable

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Healthy West Coast salmon by virtue of cultural nece

Rebuilding wild salmon stocks will take systemic change between First Nations and government, say those watching the health of By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor This is the third in a 3-part series of HaShilth-Sa articles on wild salmon harvest, hatcheries and habitat. Restoring salmon habitat in watersheds along the Island’s west coast could substantially boost productivity, but declining stocks won’t recover unless more spawners make it home. Marine survival is a complex dynamic for a genus that swims many thousands of kilometres, evading predators and disease, defying odds, homing in on natal waters to die only after renewing the life cycle. Historically there have been times when few fish returned, yet the cycle was so immutable that Indigenous people and salmonids co-evolved over millennia. Rich west coast waters rewarded both. Judith Sayers, NTC president, recalled a Hupacasath story of two hunters who cornered a huge bird. They spared the bird when it granted them one wish: “We always want to have salmon.” “We’ve always had salmon returning to our territories,” Sayers said, explaining the interrelationship. “I think that big bird has returned its promise.” There are tough decisions ahead, though, to not only sustain but rebuild the relationship amid grave environmental challenges that include ocean warming, reduced marine productivity, climate change and degraded freshwater habitat. Change has been so agonizingly slow in coming and patience is wearing thin. In late June the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) called for an end to all open-net pen salmon farming in the province. Reports published by fish farm owners Mowi, Cermaq and Grieg indicated 37 per cent of salmon farms across all regions exceeded government-mandated sea lice limits, the FNLC said. “We have known for years that open-net pen salmon farming is one of the main contributors to the massive decline in wild salmon stocks in this province,” said BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “The federal and provincial governments have been taking a piecemeal approach to this problem, with long timeframes for transition to closed containment pens, and only in a few places. We need to end salmon farming in our open oceans now to protect both wild salmon and Indigenous ways of being from extinction.” When 1,000 Atlantic salmon escaped from a fish farm at Shaw Point in Johnstone Strait a few weeks ago, We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations decided they’d

Jean Ignace (above) checks her salmon with granddaughter, Belinda Frank, at their smokehouse by the Somass River. Rebuilding west coast wild sa demands an integrated approach and changes in harvest management, say scientists. starting with the site at Shaw Point.” adversely affect wild stocks. Ottawa, had enough. MOWI Inc. said it followed all reporting meanwhile, backtracked on its 2019 elecLike other coastal nations, they’ve had tion commitment, promising only a plan ongoing concerns about sea lice impacts protocols after a “small hole” was discovfor phasing out marine-based fish farms in on wild juvenile salmon migrating past fish ered in a torn net during inspection on May 24, yet the nations maintain they were not B.C. within five years. farms. They wanted to work out a colproperly notified. On the west coast, where sea lice outlaborative structure with the province for breaks at fish farms led to public demonaquaculture in their territories similar to the “We have tried to build on the work done strations last summer, scientists envision one established for the Broughton Archiby nations in the Broughton Archipelago and negotiate a decision-making agreement a system for ensuring migratory paths are pelago in 2018, but said the province failed better protected for returning salmon. A that is based on the best science, the best to “engage substantively.” We Wai Kai and “marine connectivity corridor,” in combiWei Wai Kum put MOWI and DFO on data and the knowledge that our communities have, but we need B.C. to be a partner nation with a suite of broadly collaborative notice: The fish farm must go. “The system is broken,” said Chief Brian in this,” Chief Roberts said. approaches, is one possibility. Such corAssu. “We cannot stand by and wait for Fish farms on notice ridors already exist to protect coho migration. B.C. to implement the Declaration on the The province could hardly be accused of Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, or for ignoring the file. Two years ago, they set “The idea there is we’re trying to look afDFO to protect our vital resource. Our the terms: Effective June 2022, fish farm ter our relationship with salmon by looking after the entire life cycle,” said Eric Angel, nations have a right to wild salmon and tenures will be granted only to operators the right to make decisions about how our who have negotiated agreements with NTC fisheries manager. “We want to be concerned with every part of the journey.” territory is used. We will exercise that right, First Nations and proven their sites won’t

DFO photo

Photo by Denise Titian

July 2, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 9

ultural necessity atching the health of the species

Photo by Denise Titian

. Rebuilding west coast wild salmon (below left)

cks. Ottawa, on its 2019 elecsing only a plan sh farms in

re sea lice outo public demonientists envision gratory paths are ning salmon. A ,” in combioadly collaborative . Such corotect coho migra-

e trying to look afsalmon by looking ,” said Eric Angel, “We want to be rt of the journey.”

Photo by Denise Titian

To him, it seems “dreadfully obvious” the status quo has failed salmon and people alike: “In the space of a couple of centuries, we’ve managed to wipe out the resource, or come close to it, and at the same time we find the conventional approach to fisheries management is acceptable?” A resource-based harvest management system that considers fish a commodity for maximum economic exploitation is at fault, he contends. Nuu-chah-nulth belief, in stark contrast, revolves around “hishuk’ish tsawalk,” everything is one, everything is connected. No other species exemplifies this inter-relationship quite so well as Pacific salmon. No wonder they are integral, important to every aspect of Nuu-chah-nulth life, “all along the mountains and sea.” The ritual of the first salmon, for example, ensures salmon spirits continue sending fish home. “We are known as salmon people, whether it’s chinook, chum, coho, sockeye or pink,” said Judith Sayers, NTC president. The relationship — the culture of salmon — continued to evolve after contact as Nuu-chah-nulth engaged in commercial trading. “And part of that culture is habitat management, hatcheries and restoration,” Sayers added, putting the relationship in contemporary terms. A “tsawalk” approach to rebuilding stocks is expressed in a number of emerging concepts, the “salmon park” proposal being just one. Salmon parks, or “salmon forest conservation areas,” proposed by NTC for the Nootka Sound area, would expand the bounds of habitat protection and restoration to entire watersheds.

“It’s not about making parks with more places for salmon,” Angel explained. “It’s more about a holistic approach that includes employment, governance, economy, guardians and language revitalization.” The proposal is a long-term strategy, one that could take centuries to fully restore watersheds to past levels of productivity. Ha’wiih, the hereditary chiefs of Nuuchah-nulth, suggested the B.C. government adopt salmon parks to rebuild wild stocks elsewhere. Two funding applications — one to the federal Justice Partnership and Innovation Program (JPIP), the other to CrownIndigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) — have been made so far. Uu-a-thluk has been told to expect a response within weeks from the Justice Partnership. “We framed (the JPIP proposal) more broadly as a project to renew Nuu-chahnulth law as it relates to salmon,” Angel said. “It’s a neat project. Even if we don’t get the funding, we’re still going to proceed.” Oceans forum established Salmon parks, linked with marine corridors, could dovetail with another strategy: Working with other First Nations, such as Quatsino and the Haida, along coastal migratory corridors. With so many fisheries and related concerns in common, Nuu-chah-nulth and Haida last year agreed to work together through a new Oceans Dialogue Forum and technical committee, a partnership sparked by concern for west coast Vancouver Island chinook. A first forum scheduled for April had to be postponed due the COVID-19 pandemic. “What could they do to help our salmon come back to us? This discussion is in the early stages,” Angel said. A similar co-operative strategy exists for habitat restoration within Nuu-chah-nulth territory. After failing to obtain funds for their own restoration in the Sarita River, Huu-ay-aht First Nations have opted to join hands with other NTC nations to mount a group proposal for better chances of funding approval. Unfortunately, that too has been stalled by the pandemic. While DFO talks of uniting stakeholders around a rebuilding plan for west coast Vancouver Island chinook, there remains the thorny issue of fishery allocations among various user groups, recreational, First Nations and commercial gear types. Nuu-chah-nulth, on the other hand, have proven their case in court over and over again. DFO has yet to follow suit but is reviewing its Pacific salmon allocation policy, advised that it constitutes an infringement on Indigenous rights. At the same time, DFO has opened the door to Nuu-chah-nulth assuming a lead role in a chinook rebuilding plan. Is fishery justice at last on the horizon? “I think it can be achieved,” Sayers said. “We have been building capacity and have shown DFO our ability, but they have to trust us. Over the years, we’ve been able to raise the profile of issues more and more, and DFO has had to start acknowledging that. We just have to keep pushing them there.” A similar conviction echoed on the east side of Vancouver Island in June. “For countless generations, our people have cared for, harvested and relied on salmon as they return to our local spawning grounds and as they migrate through Laichkwiltach waters to many rivers, including the Fraser,” said Chief Chris Roberts. “We are ready to exercise our right as decision makers and stewards over our lands and waters. We hope that government will partner with us in a meaningful way to achieve real progress.”

Ha-Shilth-Sa archive photo

Photos by Mike Youds

Ha-Shilth-Sa archive photo

Page 10— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2020

Harvesting devil’s club for traditional medicine By Melissa Renwick Ha-Shilth-Sa Reprter Port Alberni, BC - In the middle of a forest on the outskirts of Port Alberni, Cory Howard shakes his rattle and sings a song. His 14-year old daughter, Alexyss, stands next to him in stillness. They are blessing a devil’s club before they begin its harvest. Howard proceeds by cutting off the cascading leaves at the top of the plant and takes them deeper into the forest, returning them to the earth. “Always leave what you don’t use in the forest,” he says. The health and wellness coordinator for Huu-ay-aht First Nations persisted by shaving off the prickly, top layer of bark from the devil’s club. It’s a skill he only recently acquired after being shown by Quu’asa wellness worker, Howard Morris. “There’s a few elders that remembered that devil’s club is medicine,” says Howard. To keep tradition alive, he set out to learn how it’s harvested and recorded a video of the process to be distributed for Huu-ay-aht members on National Indigenous Peoples Day. “It feels good,” he says of acquiring the skill. “You don’t have to ask anyone to help out or to go out and get it. And I’m there if someone needs to learn how to do it.” Traditionally, the plant has been used to help with coughs and colds, to help heal arthritis and to clean the liver, says Howard. Others use it as a source of protection and place a piece of the prickly stem on top of their front door.

Photo by Melissa Renwick

Cory Howard harvests Devil’s Club with his daughter, Alexyss, 14, just outside of Port Alberni, on June 18. Howard keeps a piece of it close to his chest, strung on a piece of black string tied around his neck. Long before Howard landed his role as the wellness coordinator for Huu-ay-aht, he worked in natural resources for the nation. On his days off, he would go to his children’s schools and teach the youth about Nuu-chah-nulth culture through songs and regalia.

“I was already teaching before I started this job,” he says. “I feel guilty sometimes because I’m getting paid for it, but I love doing it and teaching it.” His daughter, Alexyss, echoes the sentiment by saying how important her culture has become to her. “I don’t sing but I like hearing people sing – like my dad,” she says. After gathering the inner bark of the

plant, Howard carries it back out of the forest. It will be used in tea – the oils that seep from the bark are the medicine, he says. He vows to return next year to check if the leaves he stored in the forest have grown into new life. “I’m just learning too,” he says. “I think it’s better for everyone to learn part of our history.”

Phrase of the week: %u%u%iih=witas%nis^ ka>kintapiih= %uqwink naniiqsuu Pronounced ‘ooh ooh ee irh we does nish kalth kin da pith ooh kwink nah nik su’, this means ‘I am going picking strawberries with my Grandma’ Supplied by ciisma.

Illustration by Ivy Cargill-Martin

July 2, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 11

Salmon habitat dollars ‘inadequate,’ MP says Second round of restoration funding omits west coast of Vancouver Island, leaving the region out of the federal program By Mike Youds Ha-Shilth-Sa Contributor Ottawa, ON - As DFO allocates another $3 million in salmon habitat restoration funding — none of it for the Island’s west coast — the NDP is urging Ottawa to triple the amount of money available. The second round of funding disbursed through the federal-provincial B.C. Salmon and Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF) was announced June 15. A first series of project allocations, totalling $13 million, was made almost a year ago. West coast habitat restoration projects have so far been left high and dry. In a videoconference with Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and senior DFO staff, MP and NDP fisheries critic Gord Johns pleaded with the government to loosen purse strings in order to respond with appropriate urgency to the wild salmon crisis. “My ask is, is the government looking at ramping this up significantly in light of our situation with wild salmon, which is getting way worse, especially with Big Bar?” Johns wondered. Jordan said the government has so far approved $70 million in applications for the $148-million BCSRIF fund and pointed out there is another round of applications coming forward. “I know that we are working to get the money out the door as quickly as we can,” Jordan said. Johns argued that the total value of applications submitted to BCSRIF has been $340 million, a sum that includes “great projects” on the west coast proposed by Indigenous communities, Coastal Restoration Society and West Coast Aquatics. So far, none have received a nod from BCSRIF. “It sounds to me like you’ve approved just over 20 percent of the applications,” said the Courtenay-Alberni MP. “Clearly this fund isn’t adequate to serve the needs of coastal people.” The glaring gap in west coast Vancouver Island project funding was duly noted after the first round of announcements, which green-lighted 23 projects in July 2019. An application by Huu-ay-aht First Nations for salmon habitat restoration work on the Sarita River — extensively damaged by siltation from logging — was rejected in that round. Of five BCSRIF applications made by Uu-a-thluk, NTC’s fisheries department, one was denied and four were deferred to the second round. Staff are still waiting to hear on one of

Photo by Mike Youds

The Huu-ay-aht First Nations hope to restore salmon habitat in the Sarita River on their traditional territory. those projects, involving herring research, COVID recovery initiative that could that is under consideration. transform coastal British Columbia and Responding to concerns, DFO staff met save our wild salmon,” Johns said. with the Council of Ha’wiih Forum on “One thing there is consensus on — Fisheries and NTC last fall to provide with Indigenous communities, local govan overview of BCSRIF. What became ernments, recreational and commercial clear was that DFO assigns greater merit fisheries — is that we need more money to project applications that involve wider for habitat protection,” he added. collaborations among groups, said Eric Salmon habitat restoration elsewhere in Angel, the NTC’s fisheries manager. B.C. is cited among projects approved in Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert this latest round. The successful appliDennis Sr. made a motion at the NTC cants include: annual general meeting to pursue a multi• Gitanyow Fisheries Authority, receivnation proposal as well as to advocate for ing $867,000 over five years to enhance more funding to address restoration on sockeye spawning on the Kitwanga River. the west coast. The motion passed with a • Pacific Salmon Foundation, which will call to “ensure that proper consideration use $650,000 over two years to conis given to Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations duct winter trawl surveys in the Gulf of and projects that impact our territories.” Alaska, continuing ocean research that Work on the joint proposal has so far began in 2018. been delayed by the COVID-19 pan• Skeena Fisheries Commission, obtaindemic. ing $400,000 over four years to build a Johns said many of the habitat restoracounting fence in the Bear River watertion applications in the queue for funding shed. Robert Dennis Sr. could qualify as climate mitigation projNew applications for funding will be ects. They could also help communities accepted from July 15-Sept. 15. reduce bycatch of species of concern; recover from economic turmoil caused by DFO also outlined 2020 priorities for new aquaculture technology, and; hatchthe pandemic shutdown, he said. the funding decisions, which include ery upgrades. “This could be a COVID response, a research of Fraser stocks; habitat resDFO staff assured Johns that money to toration projects that target red-listed, remediate the Big Bar Slide damage is threatened salmon stocks; innovation and coming from a separate funding stream technology to increase seafood quality and will not impinge on habitat restoraand value; selective fishing practices to tion dollars.


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Page 12— Ha-Shilth-Sa—July 2, 2020

The president’s message NTC grad, scholarship to Nuu-chah-nulth-aht celebration to go online

Hello to all Nuu-chah-nulth. It has been another sad month of losing precious people. My sympathies to all those families and communities that have lost loved ones. On June 4th, we woke up to the shocking news that one of our beautiful Nuu-chahnulth women had been shot by police in Edmundston, New Brunswick. Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht woman, lost her life in a senseless shooting. Police had come to her place on a wellness check in the middle of the night after her boyfriend told police she was being harassed. What actually happened that led to the shooting and events after are still unclear. Our heartfelt condolences to the many families that Chantel comes from. We have no idea how a wellness check turned into a fatal shooting. The police allege that she came after the police officer with a knife but her family says she was not a violent and was in fact a very happy person. Chantel was small in stature and we do not understand how a very tall, strong police officer could not have stopped her if she indeed had a knife. We know that racism probably had a role in this shooting. The fact the Chantel was Indigenous may have been the reason the officer shot her. But when has being Indigenous been a crime? The incidences of police shootings and assaulting Indigenous peoples has risen over the past three months. We know at least seven Indigenous people have been killed by police since the beginning of COVID. In fact, eight days after Chantel was shot, Rodney Levi was killed in New Brunswick. We must be instrumental in making changes to policing in this country so no other Nuu-chah-nulth, no other Indigenous people, will be shot to death or assaulted by police. As Nuu-chah-nulth peoples, we have to decide what it will take for us to have a respectful working relationship with the police. We also need to ask what are the alternatives are to the RCMP? How we can ensure wellness or mental health checks are done by people trained in responding, not police officers? People who know how to de-escalate situations. What policies need to change to prevent more deaths, and what funding is required? We need to figure out how to get rid of racism in the police so these kinds of things never happen again. I have been working to have some highlevel discussions with the prime minister and other ministers so we can address our concerns. I have been working with the national chief and the communities in New Brunswick. We will do everything we can to find justice for Chantel. The other big issue I have been working on is a motion the directors passed over two weeks ago that set our four conditions the province had to meet before Nuu-chah-nulth territories would be open. One was ensuring that testing was readily available. We have also been asking for more testing machines so we can do it quicker in the communities. The second condition was ensuring that non-resident visitors had to be screened to make sure they do not have the virus. The third was contact tracing, so if anyone does get the virus we can figure out where they contacted it. Our NTC nurses

By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter

can do this, but if there is a second wave and there are a lot of people who get the virus, we want to have trained individuals in the community that are culturally sensitive and who our people trust. The fourth is to enter into protocols with health authorities to know where cases of the virus are so we can be better prepared if it is in a community close to us. It is up to every First Nation to decide when they want to open up their territories to other people. I tell anyone who asks to get in touch with the First Nation and ask if they are open. The B.C. government agreed we are on a nation-to-nation basis and said they were implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes our nations’ free prior and informed consent. The premier opened up the province to Stage 3 without even talking to Nuu-chah-nulth nations. This is not reconciliation, it isn’t nation to nation nor is it in keeping with their commitments in their legislation to implement UNDRIP. The directors are very clear that they want to ensure that all Nuu-chah-nulth are protected. People before economies. They want these four items put in place in order to prevent the spread of COVID. Stage 3 brings in lots of people into our communities and with it brings the greater risk of contacting the virus. I would encourage all of you to keep gatherings small, keep cleaning your houses regularly with bleach on touch places, keep washing your hands and all the other advice to keep the virus away. You are all very important to us so take all the precautions so you can remain healthy. The Council of Ha’wiih met June 25 over the computer in their own territories. In-person meetings are still risky and working on fisheries issues is very important. It is the new way of doing business and it is hard to get used to, but it was good to see everyone even if on the computer screen. The NTC has opened up its offices again and took many precautions to keep everyone safe. We have to live up to WorkSafeBC conditions. We have a limit of how many people can work at a time so people are rotating days. Contact any of the staff by email or phone if you need their help. There is much going on and I will continue to fill you in on the most important happenings in my monthly messages to you. Take good care. Kekinusuqs, Judith Sayers


Port Alberni, BC – With the province still under partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council’s education department had to come up with an alternative to the annual gathering that they normally hold to celebrate the academic successes of Nuu-chah-nulth people. Ian Caplette, the NTC’s director of Education, Training and Social Development, told Ha-Shilth-Sa that scholarships will still go out to kindergarten to Grade 12 Nuu-chah-nulth students. After students apply to the NTC for a scholarship, a committee made up of representatives from Nuu-chah-nulth nations review the applications to select winners. According to Caplette, the selection committee meets during the first week of July to select the K-12 scholarship winners. Recipients will be notified by phone and letters will go out to the individual nations. Post-Secondary scholarships will be distributed based on merit. “We will calculate their GPA (Grade Point Average) and award scholarships accordingly,” said Caplette. The higher the GPA, the better. Scholarship awards are also based on criteria that may be set by outside donors.

“For example, we have a group of lawyers offering a scholarship so that may go to a law student; we try match donors with recipients,” said Caplette. The post-secondary scholarship decisions have been made and notifications will go out to recipients very soon. They will be notified by email or by phone. There will be no large gathering this year like there has been in the past, with a dinner and a graduate procession. The NTC education department has been meeting regularly and will soon decide whether or not to organize a parade of graduates and scholarship winners. In the absence of a traditional dinner and presentation event, the education department is collecting grad photographs and photos of the scholarship winners. The plan is to make two videos celebrating the success of both groups of students. In addition, Grade 12 graduates are being asked to submit a form to the NTC to register. “We will be sending gifts to graduates and we are requesting photos from each of the graduates so that we can make a video; one for grad and one for scholarship winners,” said Caplette. The deadline to register for Grade 12 graduation and to send photos to the NTC is July 10. All photos of graduates and scholarship winners must be sent to the NTC by July 10.

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July 2, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 13

Thousands of Indigenous photographs now available Royal BC Museum releases 16,103 photos to the public, including some images of Nuu-chah-nulth communities By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Victoria, BC – The Royal British Columbia Museum has made access to its Indigenous content photograph collection much easier with the launch of its online digitized photograph collection. In the past, people had to go to Victoria to search the archives in person in order to find photographs with Indigenous content. In recent years there was a limited selection of photographs available in the online RBCM website but it was only a fraction of what was preserved in storage. In mid-June the museum announced that it made available to the public 16,103 historical photographs depicting Indigenous communities, mostly from B.C.; some are from neighboring states of Alaska and Washington. The photographs feature people, places and objects taken between the late 1800s and the 1970s. “Indigenous peoples have a right to images of their communities and their families and through this database can access them no matter where they are in the province,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.’s minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. She went on to say that the work was part of the government’s commitment to reconciliation. “Indigenous peoples have a right to images of their communities and their families and through this database can access them no matter where they are in the province,” said Beare, adding that she appreciates the repatriation department for leading this important work. Digitization work on the collection began in May 2018 and ended in April 2020. Digitization greatly improves the ability of the museum to transfer highresolution copies of the images safely to these communities while preserving the originals at the museum in perpetuity. “At last, the majority of photographs of Indigenous communities from the Royal BC Museum collections are available to the public digitally, and the names of Indigenous individuals who appear in the photos are easily searchable,” said Prof. Jack Lohman, director of the Royal BC Museum. While not all of the individuals in the images are identified, some have ‘verso’ scans, an index card of information about a particular image, and these are included with many of the photographs. The museum’s Indigenous Advisory and Advocacy Committee has provided guidance on the release of materials and decided that some images will remain

Royal BC Musuem archive photos

Nuu-chah-nulth women dry halibut by the Alberni Inlet (above). Below unidentified children are pictured in Clayoquot Sound circa 1903. permanently restricted to the public. “[S]ome scanned and digitized photos shall remain restricted, for legal and cultural reasons, and will not be publicly accessible. These reasons include copyright and/or licensing issues, the depiction of sacred events and/or sites or request that the text on the verso be kept private,” stated the museum in a press release. In addition, the museum has been advised to adopt a process to quickly take down images that are deemed culturally sensitive. To view these images, visitors can go to http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum. bc.ca/Ethnology then type “pn” into the Catalogue Number field and click search. There are 32206 scanned images in the collection. You may further narrow your search by typing the name of a nation or community in the description field.

Annual Young walk followed by ‘Lights on for Lisa’ By Eric Plummer Ha-Shilth-Sa Editor Nanaimo, BC - Eighteen years after Lisa Marie Young went missing without a trace, loved ones and supporters marched down the streets of Nanaimo to ensure her disappearance remains in the public eye. On Sunday, June 28 dozens participated in the annual walk for the missing Tlao-qui-aht woman, an event that has been held annually since 2003. The walk began at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment, progressing to the city’s waterfront on a warm afternoon. Lisa Marie Young was last heard of on June 30, 2002, when she was out with friends to celebrate a birthday. She was

21 at the time. On Tuesday, June 30 people are encouraged to participate in “Lights on for Lisa” by leaving porch lights on to recognize Young’s disappearance. “Even if you didn’t know Lisa, please leave your lights on for her,” reads the event’s Facebook page. “She could have been your sister, daughter, granddaughter, or friend. Our community needs healing, we need to find Lisa.” This year both events were recognized by the City of Nanaimo with an official Submitted photo proclamation signed by Mayor Dozens participated in the annual walk for the missing Tla-o-qui-aht woman, an event that Leonard Krog. has been held annually since 2003.

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Ucluelet Secondary graduates honoured with a parade COVID-19 forces event to be outdoors, as almost half of the school’s 16 graduates this year are Nuu-chah-nulth By Melissa Renwick Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ucluelet, BC - On the day of her graduation, Trinity Clark walked a stage that was set up in the band room of the Ucluelet Secondary School (USS). Outfitted in a flowing red dress, twenty of her closest family members proudly watched as she accepted her high school diploma in front of a video camera. The recording would be sent to those who couldn’t attend because of physical distancing measures that are in place due to the ongoing pandemic. Clark was one of 16 graduates who were given a time slot to walk the stage. Unlike every other year, the graduating class was not allowed to celebrate together. “It was kind of anticlimactic,” said Clark of her final year of high school. “I do feel like most of the excitement was taken away [by COVID-19].” Roshell Bob shared Clark’s sentiment and said, “It’s not really how I hoped it would end.” The uncertain times meant that graduation plans at the school didn’t come together until “last minute,” said Clark. It left her wondering if it was going to happen at all. “We usually have a big celebration and go on a camping trip for grad party,” she said. “So it was definitely a lot different than what we had anticipated working our way up towards grad.” But one month ago a plan was set it motion. To do something special for the students, USS principal Carol Sedgwick and the school’s staff made personalized banners for each student from the class of 2020. Their names and graduation photos were hung from light poles in town. It was a token to acknowledge the hurdle the graduates had to get through in the face of COVID-19. The unprecedented times were “very stressful” for the students, the parents and for the faculty, Sedgwick said. “We didn’t have a rule book or training for this,” she said. Unable to have a big ceremony, the high school graduates were given their own parade through the streets of Ucluelet. Led by the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade, sirens rang through town, as

Photos by Melissa Renwick

Ucluelet Secondary School graduates pose for a photo near the lighthouse in Ucluelet, on Saturday, June 20, 2020. vehicles echoed with honking horns. Community members lined the streets and cheered for the graduates as they waved from the back of their parent’s pickup truck, or from the inside of a decorated boat that was towed on a trailer. “It was really great to see so many people come out,” said Clark. “I even think I saw some tourists and visitors.” The procession ended at the Amphirite Point Lighthouse, where professional photographer, Douglas Ludwig, met them for photos. The young graduates’ dresses were vibrant against the muted west coast skies. While the event didn’t carry on as an overnight camping trip like it traditionally would have, Clark said the one-off graduation parade would remain memorable. “Seeing so many people was a really great feeling,” she said. “It was a fun experience for us all.”

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July 2, 2020—Ha-Shilth-Sa—Page 15

Haahuupayak Elementary School celebrates Grade 7s Students sit two metres apart as family watches from a distance due to current COVID-19 pandemic measures By Melissa Renwick Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper Port Alberni, BC - As a line of Grade 7 graduates emerged from Haahuupayak Elementary School, they were met with a blaring of honking horns that sounded from the parking lot. Unlike most years, the graduation ceremony was held outdoors and every student sat two meters apart. The balloons attached to their seats buzzed around them in the wind, matching the students’ excitement. Family and friends remained pulled back, showing their support from lawn chairs in the parking lot and curbsides. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant that all but two of the 13 students carried out their final days attending the elementary school from home. “It’s been really hard for the students, as well as staff, to not see each other,” said Grade 7 teacher, Serena Schwager. Despite the challenging times, having a graduation ceremony was non-negotiable for Schwager. “It’s really like a family here,” she said. “Many of the students that are graduating have been here since kindergarten, so it’s really close knit and it’s really important that we honour them.” Mary Robinson is one of them, and while her excitement about the graduation ran high, she is “mostly nervous” about attending high school. It was the kindness from her teachers at Haahuupayak that she loved most about her time at the school. “They would be there for you when you were having rough days,” she said of the school’s staff. With more students and bigger class sizes, Robinson knows she won’t have the same support from her high school teachers. “It feels like I’m going to the next stage of my life,” she said. “Moving up so that I can go get a job and help out my family.”

Photos by Melissa Renwick

Grade 7 graduates of Haahuupayak Elementary School sing before their graduation ceremony begins, on June 18. Graduates gave their speeches in both Nuu-chah-nulth and English and in between loving tears, their families spoke of how proud they are. “You’re going to change the world,” said Robinson’s mother, Charley Frow, to the graduates. “I can’t wait to see what you create.” Cheyenne Sam gushed of how well her son, Sheldon, uses Nuu-chah-nulth language – proudly sharing how he speaks it outside the classroom and inside their home. After one final song and dance, the cars cleared out from the parking lot. Sam held her son in the middle of an empty stall. They breathed in comfort from one another, not quit ready to say “goodbye.” “You’ve reached a point where you’re going to leave us physically,” said gym teacher, Ernie Netzer. “Spiritually, you’re always going to be a part of this building.”

Ahousaht to celebrate 13 high school graduates By Denise Titian Ha-Shilth-Sa Reporter Ahousaht, BC – Parents and school staff have been working diligently, finding a safe way to celebrate their graduating class in the midst of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The community remains under strict protective protocols given by their Emergency Operations Centre and elected leadership. These restrictions have worked to keep the virus out of Ahousaht. Details of how the grad ceremony will unfold have not been released to HaShilth-Sa. However, non-resident guests to the ceremony have been asked to call or email Ahousaht’s EOC to be screened for health concerns before being granted permission to board a boat to the village. Members of the community held a grad parade on June 20, which included graduates from Kindergarten and Grade 7 along with the high school graduates. The Maaqtusiis High School Class of 2020 are: Christian Charlie, Mark FrankPerry, Matthew Frank, Sierra Frank, West Frank, Hannah George, Juniper John, Kobe Sam, Thomas Sam jr., Shania Thomas, Jazelle Titian and Jonathan Williams. Urban graduate Jamal Campbell will join his relatives at home in the celebration.

Submitted photo

Ahousaht’s high school graduation celebration is adapting to restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic by holding the event outdoors. Pictured is a grad parade the community held on June 21.

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